Is split ticketing legal

Split ticketing or buying separate tickets for individual legs of a journey instead of a conventional ‘through’ ticket because it works out cheaper may be a little known quirk of the UK rail fares system but it’s completely legal to use a combination of tickets under condition 19 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage on the condition that the trains you travel on stop at all the places where the tickets are split.

Why do split ticketing fare anomalies occur?

Split ticketing fare anomalies normally occur because the prices for different sections of a route are set by different train companies. For this reason you will normally find the biggest savings on journeys going across the country, particularly on routes operated by CrossCountry Trains. That said split ticketing savings are available on direct trains, although less common, and on trains in and out of London too so it’s always worth a look.

If split ticketing is legal, why isn’t it more publicised ?

The train companies (TOCs) have long been aware of the savings from splitting tickets but none of them offer it as an option on their websites. This is probably because they have calculated that it would lose them millions in revenue if ‘split tickets’ became more generally available. Prior to the launch of travellers in the know who wanted split tickets would have to spend hours trawling through hundreds of fares and then book each leg separately. The new site puts money back into the pockets of the consumer by taking this insider knowledge and making it easy and available to the man in the street, who will now not need to work out anything themselves.

How can I make split ticketing work for me?

If you want to buy split tickets, the journey planner at is your best bet. Unlike rival apps it handles return journeys as well as singles and can handle multiple splits on a journey. Similarly it’s the only place online that finds splits and also automatically books the correct combination of tickets for you ensuring you don’t make a mistake, which could lead to a costly penalty fare. The ticket office at the station may be able to assist in splitting your train tickets but isn’t obliged to and given the complexity of the rail network the staff may not even be aware of the best combination of tickets.

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